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Non-Engineering Road Safety Countermeasures

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MARCH 2017
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This study was performed by the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) to identify the effectiveness of non-engineering road safety countermeasures. The study also identified strategies for implementing regional road safety initiatives that would utilize non-engineering road safety countermeasures to reduce the number and severity of bicycle, pedestrian, and intersection crashes.

It is widely recognized that engineering solutions alone are not sufficient for improving road safety.  Many factors that are related to human behavior contribute towards crash causation.  These include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, erratic pedestrian or bicycling beha­vior or driving while texting.

MAG has in place a successful regional collaborative process with its Transportation Safety Committee (TSC). Historically this committee has focused mostly on developing and implementing engineering safety countermeasures, guided by requirements linked to available road safety funding.  As this committee, program, and process has matured, it has become possible for the committee to consider also becoming a forum to plan for and implement a non-engineering road safety countermeasure program at the regional level.

Although there is no dedicated funding for such a program, the study recommends that  MAG begin planning for and cultivating the support for funding. Ideas for the type of funding that might be available to MAG are discussed in the study report. However, the intention is that TSC work toward implementing non-engineering road safety countermeasures at the regional and potentially municipal level to address bicycle, pedestrian, and intersection crashes.

Measurement of the impacts of each of these strategies is an important facet of the program. Given the limited data on the effectiveness of strategies, the study recommends an evaluation program to determine the effectiveness of non-engineering road safety measures that are implemented by MAG in the future. This will also enable MAG to contribute to building industry knowledge about effective countermeasures.  Section 2.0 provides a summary of regional safety data, which guides selection of countermeasures. Section 3.0 presents the recommended strategies along with recommended process and performance measures so progress can be evaluated.

The “pillars” of the overall approach to transportation safety are the 4 E’s: Education, Enforcement, Engineering, and Emergency response. This study focused only on non-engineering road safety countermeasures. While emergency response is an important aspect of the 4 E’s of road safety, this study focused only on developing a plan for education and enforcement countermeasures.

Cambridge Systematics Inc. performed this study for MAG.
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Senior Program Manager – ITS and Safety:
Sarath Joshua
Transportation